After a beautiful week, I really struggled yesterday. The older children get, the more difficult it can feel to parent them. While the early years of sleeplessness and physical exhaustion dissipate, they are occasionally replaced by an equally overwhelming mental exhaustion that comes with constantly having to repeat and explain yourself, or arbitrate between siblings. Add to this the usual struggles of daily life that can ordinarily be dealt with individually, but feel rather significant when they begin to pile up. Sometimes there is nothing else for it but to land on a friends doorstep sobbing and be soothed by tea and understanding. And so it was yesterday.
Today was a new day. Warm and beautiful outside. Dave took over the parenting responsibilities. He sent me photos of the children scooting alongside the beach and eating on the grass while listening to bands at a country music festival they had stumbled upon. Meanwhile, I sifted through business paperwork - surrounded by statements, receipts, invoices and tax codes. A job I have procrastinated on for far too long I must say, as there is always so many more interesting things for me to be doing... but as I near its completion I can feel the weight of it lifting.
When my mind started to wander too often from papers and screen, and my socks and cardigan were no longer protection enough from the chill in my studio, I grabbed my camera and went for a walk in the warmth. How lovely it was just to be alone, and notice the details. To reset. Be calm. Feel like myself again. And miss my children.
How lovely it was to greet them again, with an equal sense of the joy and warmth that spilt out of them, once they were home again.